Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
Today is perhaps the biggest day for new game releases in 2017. If reviews are anything to by, Super Mario Odyssey is expectedly excellent, Wolfenstein II is scoring incredibly well, and Ubisoft’s year off with Assassin’s Creed seems to have paid dividends with Origins. Three major single-player blockbusters on the same day? RIP wallets nationwide.
My copy of Super Mario Odyssey should arrive later today and I’m sure that’s what’ll consume most of my free time this weekend. It looks amazing and I’ve purposefully avoided as much coverage as possible to go in fresh. Super Mario Bros. was my first video game back on the NES in 1985, so the series is near and dear to my heart. I have no doubt Odyssey will be an amazing, memorable experience.
I genuinely enjoy the Assassin’s Creed series and Origins appears to borrow a few ideas from the likes of The Witcher, Destiny, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in terms of open world design, gear, and RPG-style progression. As a fan of the franchise and RPGs in general, I’m stoked to see what Ubisoft has put together. They’ve taken a step back from the series’ annual release schedule and took an entire year off to polish Origins in hopes of reinvigorating Assassin’s Creed from its current slump. Syndicate, the last game in the series, took place in the most recent timeline, but as the name implies, Origins tells the story of the Brotherhood’s beginnings way back in ancient Egypt. The leading role is a person of color, various cultures are represented respectfully, combat is completely overhauled, and overall, the game just looks like phenomenal.
I also loved the reboot of Wolfenstein, The New Order, and its side-story The Old Blood. Wolfenstein II’s PR team has been pulling no punches lately, with plenty of “not my America” ads targeting the recent resurgence of neo-Nazism and bigotry in America. The marketing campaign practically writes itself, no? I can’t wait to dive into Wolfenstein II.
Games are expensive, though, and I found myself rushing through Fire Emblem Warriors over the course of two days just to sell it on eBay in order to fund Super Mario Odyssey. However, on Sunday, Target is running a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on all non-Switch games. I have some cash set aside, so I may cave and pick up Assassin’s Creed Origins and Wolfenstein II. As for the freebie, I’ll probably grab The Evil Within 2. Middle-earth: Shadow of War looks incredibly dull and although I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor, I just don’t feel the need do more of… that. Ever, really.
Outside of today’s releases, I’m working my way through Yono and the Celestial Elephants on Switch. It’s an adorable Zelda-influenced adventure game about an elephant sent from the stars to help those in need and potentially save the world. It’s so cute that I want to hug it until it suffocates. I really like it. However, it doesn’t support the Pro Controller (yet — a patch is on the way) and the JoyCon gets finicky at a distance, which just doesn’t occur with any of the other 30+ games I own.
I also have Stardew Valley and Golf Story on deck, but I’m taking Stardew slowly and waiting to play Golf Story during my cross-country flight in December. I’m 50 hours into Persona 5, loving it to death, and I’m slowly making progress now that midterms are over. In a perfect world, I’d have that, Yakuza 0, and Mario finished before December so I can jump right into Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but that’s highly unlikely. I haven’t finished up the DLC campaigns for Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove either.
I love the Switch so fucking much. There was a bit of a lull for me where all of the hot “new” indies were games I had already finished previously on other platforms, like Axiom Verge, Oxenfree, The Flame in the Flood, but man. What a console this thing turned out to be. We’re not even through year one yet!
As for reviews, I have the brutal and bloody Norse chop-em-up Wulverblade on the horizon for the Nintendo Switch. It’s getting a pretty significant update here in the next few weeks that adds an easier difficulty (the game is fucking brutal, by the way) with additional checkpoints, so don’t expect a review until that patch goes live. I like my reviews to match the version of the game consumers are purchasing.
If you’re not on the Switch train, don’t care for Assassin’s Creed or nazi shooting, Steam and GOG have some pretty great deals in their Halloween sales. Some really great indies in there, like Stories Untold, SOMA, Darkest Dungeon, Friday the 13th: The Game, Fran Bow, and Detention. GOG specifically has great deals on Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Hollow Knight, Bulb Boy, and Sunless Sea.
There are also a surprising number of deals on the Nintendo Switch eShop for Halloween, although most are nothing to write home about.
I expect the majority to reply with Super Mario Odyssey today, but what are your weekend gaming plans?